4 days tour (2 May to 5 May)

This post is long overdue. Be prepared for a super long entry!! Get a cup or something first 😀

Day 1 (2 May)
Woke up super early (5am?), and walked in the dark road to the cinema near our place to wait for a mini bus to fetch us to where we’ll be taking the coach to. There was a spiderman inflatable thing at the cinema top.
Advertisement for Spiderman 3.

Anyway, the coach we were supposed to sit in for 4 days was one of the biggest. Group of around 40 people with one tour guide and 2 coach drivers. The tour guide’s quite friendly and all and he looks really like Sunny Sin. =X But well, when he told us the itenary for the 4 days, we realised that we weren’t only going to Jiu Zhai Gou and Huang Long. The journey on the bus was super tiring and boring at times but the best part was when we saw the mountains.

Learnt a lot from the tour guide about the tribe people living in the mountains. 藏族 (zang tribe). Their religion is a kind of Buddhism and they have these flags all over the place that actually have their prayer words on it and their belief is that when the wind blows, it’s like chanting their prayers out. And placing these flags in different parts mean different stuff. For example, putting it on the side of the road means that they are actually praying for safer journeys for people passing by on the cars, but if you see a bunch of it on the back of a village, that place is actually burial ground for the family living in that village. One flag represents one of the dead. Only the Dalai Lama or some priests can decide the colour of the flag for the family.

Took a picture with a yak (牦牛). The pronunciation for yak in Chinese actually sounds like “furry cow”. Haha. So I had no idea it was a yak until day 3 when we went to a place that sells yak meat (more about that later).

And we went to this place that looks really like an old city. They have Muslims living there as well and Halal restaurants. Quite cool right?

We got a new insight on the old-fashioned type of toilets in China. For the female toilets, it was just a drain with partitions, no doors and no flushing system. It was very weird using these toilets at first as everyone would be able to see you while waiting for their turn outside, but we got used to it after that.
Day 2
Continued our journey to Jiu Zhai Gou. We passed by places covered with snow and understood why the hotel was so cold yesterday.

Upon reaching Jiu Zhai Gou, we took a bus to the top of Jiu Zhai Gou and saw many breathtaking lakes, waterfalls and mountains. We were told that a lake was the filming location for the movie “Hero” 英雄 (starring Jet Li) and the waterfall where they shot “Journey to the west” 西游记.The only thing I didn’t enjoy was that we had to wait for the rest of the tour group and tour guide before we could continue to the next location at Jiu Zhai Gou. A lot of time was spent waiting for the other people and these people didn’t really care if they’re late or not. -_-“At night, we went to the home of a Zang race family. On the way there, our tour guide warned us that if we were to drink the wine provided, we would have to finish the whole cup or it would offend them.There, we were ushered to a big room which was able to fit the whole tour group. One of the family members taught us how they called single men and woman (“se lan” and “se mou”). They also sang us their tribal songs. They barbequed goat for us to eat and also food like potatoes, and a type of barley which tastes like popcorn. We were also given a cup of wine and milk each. Luckily for us, this family doesn’t drink and we were told that it was alright if we did not finish the cup of wine. The wine tasted like those Hua Diao Jiu that is used to cook food.

Yi Long was then picked to compete with a single girl in terms of singing and if he lost, he would have to “marry” that girl and join the family. Of course, all these were just for fun. And the group of us helped him a bit. And he ended up losing and had to “marry” the girl. Lol. Okay. The guys say that no matter what, as long as you are picked, you’ll get married. it’s just who gets married to whose family. Sorry for the mistake.

After the dinner, we joined the group of people outside around a fire to dance. Had fun lah. everyone was trying to learn the steps from the family but ended up running around in circles and all. Hahaha.

Day 3
Our main highlight of Day 3 is to visit 黄龙 Huang Long (“Yellow Dragon”) The tour guide brought us to the source of a river located at the top of a snow mountain for us to take pictures.

Then, we were brought to this huge area that sells yak meat, products made from yak skin, yak horn and some food products made from sesame seed and barley.

We then went to another exhibition hall that sells herbs. It was an interesting insight to the type of herbs and their medicinal value. Next stop was an exhibition hall of crystals. Henry, Yi Long and Hwa Swee bought crystal pendants for their mothers. The tour guide assured us that if we found out that the crystals were fake, we could get a double refund for the product and the tour agency would get a complain lodge against them.

Huang Long was the next stop. The tour guide gave us 4 hours to tour the place. It was a tiring climb for us as the oxygen level was low and it was a 3.5km hike up and another 3.5km down the mountain. Unfortunately, many of the streams, rivers, waterfalls and fountains were frozen due to the cold weather.

At night, we were again allocated to stay at the hotel which we went to on the first night. The wait for hot water was again long, and in the middle of the night, I realised that they turned of the bed heater and air warmer in the room. -_-” It was only turned on in the morning lor. Idiotic. The next morning, only Henry and Yi Long’s hotel room toilet had water. The rest of us had no water to use to wash up.

Day 4
Woke up early. Some guy in the same tour group knocked Jia Hui and my hotel’s room door mistakening us for his family. :S I was quite sarcastic with him. haha. Oops.

Went for a tea appreciation thing at this place where the 羌族 (Qiang tribe) lives. The lady who introduced us and taught us how to appreciate tea is super humourous. haha. She told us that in her tribe, the men stay at home to do housework and everything. And the women give birth and work. And they even hit their husbands to “teach” them. Haha. Oh and they choose their husbands because they are well-behaved and listen to them. And the girls used to get married when
13 or 14 years old but nowadays they get married
when they turn 18. When the guys heard this fact, they started telling
me and Jia Hui that we’re old already.

Then we went to this place where they sell stuff made from yak’s horn and I realised that all the girls behind the counter were wearing the Qiang tribe traditional costume. And they were all married already coz they all looked around my age.

Anyway, it occurred to me that the marriages in the tribal groups around here are not because of love but because the man to be married can help fix the house or help in farming etc etc. I dunno if this is
a good thing or not honestly, but it makes me think that at least the girls confirm will get married.
Saw lots of scenery and the hotel we live in actually is 3000m above sea level in the mountains! So the weather was super cold and all.

The journey back to Chengdu was painfully long anyway. So near yet so far. Why is this place so big? But glad that I’m back here already. haha.
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Alright. Lazy to post the pictures, so here’s the link for them: http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y116/galovesongs/Chengdu/2%20to%205%20May%20Trip/.

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